Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from our favorite emerging writers
Today we're sharing some poetry to ward off the Sunday Scaries.
Please enjoy these two gut-wrenching poems by Irish poet Alison Hackett, who with just a few verses transports you to these dark yet hopeful places. We welcome you to share, and submit your own!
Take care, and happy reading!
-The Derailleur Press team
In Paris. Aupèring. Three young boys to be minded.
Cleaning, ironing. Her lacy pants melt and stick
to the iron; don’t have to do it anymore. The physical
contact is unexpected. Two huge arms engulf
me, one hand on my mons, the other on my
breast. Trapped. He laughs and leaves. At night,
in the tiny apartment, he comes in, puts his hands
under the covers, whispers nothing is going to happen,
he only wants to get in, lie beside me. I whisper-hiss,
non, non; think of his wife next door. Does she know?
NON. We go to Normandy, to their holiday home. Bigger.
Safer. Her, me and the boys. Not long till he’s back.
A couple with him. I know I’m in trouble when his friend
does the same thing the next day. Freeze to tiny-boned bird.
Back in Paris dozens of messages, in English, on their answering
machine. My father, telling me again and again that I failed
my exams and must come home. He left me alone until I left.
At the end they said I had the beginnings of a Parisian accent.
I can’t remember him collecting me from school, but I must have been about seven, or eight. In
his Beetle, we are on the part of the road where it starts to wind around the estuary, low tide
mudbanks, river shrunk to stream, past the church, before the Coolmore crossroads, me in the
front passenger seat. Careering around a bend he slams on the brakes and I rocket forwards, my
two legs shove in under the dashboard. Two large raw gashes open up on my thighs, rectangular
in shape, the skin rippled, bunching where they end. I gasp but don’t remember crying. I was
already good with pain that way. Dropped off at my friend’s house, her stepmother, the one her
father had gone to England to get, comforts me, soothes the wounds with a salve and bandages.
My mother was working, or doing something else, somewhere else. He was a teacher, saturnine,
smoked a pipe. Much later I knew him to have been known as a drunk.
Alison Hackett is the director and founder of the publishing house 21st Century Renaissance and author of The Visual Time Traveller, which was selected by an international jury for the Global Irish Design Challenge exhibitions of 2016 and 2017. Her work has featured on the website of the Irish national broadcaster (RTE) as “poem of the day” and in Crossways Literary Magazine, Delmarva Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Afloat.ie, and numerous other literary journals in Ireland, India, Australia, and the U.S. She has a BA from Trinity College Dublin. Alison and her husband enjoy sailing a classic wooden dinghy, a Water Wag, the oldest one-design dinghy in the world, created for racing in Dún Laoghaire Harbour over a hundred years ago.